Eco-Memoir: Writing through Identity to a New Nature Writing
North American nature writing has at its core, a patriarchal homogeneity driving perceptions of land, wildness and conservation. This historically narrow genre is being broadened and enlivened as it is engaged through various cultural identities with perspectives on issues of racial injustice, misogyny, and other biases. Using the instructor’s novel techniques of iterative intensive free writes, attention to listening to the rhythms of your voice, and inquisitive critique, each participant will work to craft essays for wider audiences with self as the creative point of origin. Nature will be the primary focus. Poetics will inform a lyrical approach to writing prose. Participants will practice leveraging their various cultural perspectives in service of evocative nature writing.
Essayist and poet, J. Drew Lanham is the author of The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature, which received the Reed Award from the Southern Environmental Law Center and the Southern Book Prize, and was a finalist for the John Burroughs Medal. His hybrid poetry and prose collection Sparrow Envy: Field Guide to Birds and Lesser Beasts is forthcoming from Hub City Press. Lanham’s essays and poetry have appeared in numerous magazines and journals including Orion, Audubon, Flycatcher, and Wilderness, and in several anthologies, including The Colors of Nature and State of the Heart. He is a contributing editor for Orion. Lanham is an Alumni Distinguished Professor of Wildlife Ecology, Master Teacher, and Certified Wildlife Biologist at Clemson University where he works in the Forestry and Environmental Conservation Department.